I probably have mentioned this a lot of times – I am not the celebratory type.
But today, forget about that.
Today marks the day of my tenth year as a blogger! (To be honest, I forgot the exact date, but I know that it was July 2008)
Goodness, 10 years. I actually did something that lasted for 10 years, and if the Universe wills it, I would still probably be doing this for 10 more years. #SoTita #GorDiaries
Where It All Began
2008. I was in my junior year in high school. My English teacher, Mrs. Eleanor Gallardo wrote her name on the blackboard with her Blogspot address. She mentioned that she will be posting some of our lessons on the blog and she told us to check it when we get home.
So that night I typed in her blog address on the search bar and boom – it was love at first sight!
I was amazed to see that there’s a platform where you can post your thoughts, poems, stories – ANYTHING! So right away, I created my first ever blog on Blogspot and named it “Kosher Entity”
Let me at least explain myself. Kosher is another term for acceptable. Entity is a synonym of existence. So yes, it means acceptable existence. I grew up in an Evangelical Christian family and there was one time when I heard one of our pastors pray, “Thank you, Father God, for accepting our existence and we pray that you will continue to mold us as vessels that will show your great love.” That prayer made an impact on my young self.
I basically started writing anything and everything under the sun. I had no niche and no plans. I was minding my own business and I just wanted a creative space online where I can put my thoughts. I would write my Bible study revelations, current life events, and thoughts about this and that. But I remember my first ever blog post and it was all about love.
It was a random thought that I wanted to share after a bible study but I deleted it a few years back because it was a blog post written by a 15-year old child who had no idea what she was talking about.
Love is something you can never explain. When you try to define it, it loses its meaning.
MySpace, Multiply, Zoomshare, and Friendster and the Era of Animated Glitter Graphics
I used to regard myself as the most indecisive person on earth. I blog-hopped from one platform to another because I wanted to see what the other platforms can offer. MySpace was the Facebook at that time. To younger generations, I could not describe how awesome MySpace was. Life was simple. And glitter graphics was divine!
Eventually, I also made a Multiply account simply because I was curious what it was. A friend was blogging using Zoomshare so I made an account too. And then there was Friendster. My God, my dear, Friendster.
I had a Friendster blog and it was where I posted a lot of nonsense stuff. I would then share it on the ‘Bulletins’ located in the lower right part of the site so my friends can see what I’ve written. It was going perfectly well until Facebook happened. I was one of the last few people who left Friendster.
Everyone was already on the other side of the online world but I stayed because I couldn’t let go. But eventually, I had to because Friendster suddenly became a gaming platform. Wtf.
Yahoo Messenger and Why This is Relevant to my Blogging Journey
For those who were fortunate enough to have spent their teenage years during the mIRC and Yahoo Messenger days, let’s take a trip down memory lane.
My Yahoo Messenger addiction started in 2007. My family opened the first Internet shop in our barangay. That Internet shop still stands today but is already owned and managed by my uncle. Anyway, when that Internet Café business started, we could not afford to hire an attendant yet. So what my family did was we would take turns in attending the Internet Café. I didn’t want to do it because I wanted to go out with my friends but because I had no choice, I needed to have a distraction. I have always been a bookworm so reading a book would have sufficed it but the Internet Café is definitely not the best place to read a good book. Kids playing DoTa and MU would be spitting fire at each other. Trash talking is the norm when you are inside an Internet shop. So what I did was distract myself and chat with strangers instead.
I didn’t like mIRC. The graphics were too painful to watch. So I chose Yahoo Messenger and see what it can offer. It was so addicting. To those of you who don’t have any idea what I am talking about, Yahoo Messenger had these public chat rooms where anyone can join. During that time, Cebu Tambayan was probably one of the most popular public chat rooms. I would join the public chat room and post a link to my blog post. Most people would just ignore it. Some would buzz me and would care to chat. I used Yahoo Messenger to market my blog posts. It was my Facebook and Twitter at that time.
Man, I had no shame. Hahaha!
A Potpourri of Thoughts
Eventually, I got tired of blog-hopping and changing my blog name. I eventually settled with A Potpourri of Thoughts. This blog is still alive and if you want to check it out; please do. It’s where I dump all my non-travel posts.
As I have said earlier, I started blogging with no plans. Heck, it was just for fun. Eventually, a lot of things happened in my life and blogging became my escape. When I left home at the age of 16, I lived in a shelter for abused and abandoned children to volunteer in exchange for food and accommodation. For almost three years, I would write my experience in the shelter. I would often write what the stories of the kids in the shelter.
A Potpourri of Thoughts suddenly became my creative space for writing other people’s stories.
And then one of my best friends died…
I cried for hours. I was not beside him when he took his last breath.
Blogging became my escape. That night, I spent hours writing a tribute for him, and then in the next weeks, I spent a lot of time writing about anything just to keep myself distracted. His death changed me and made me realize how precious this life is. It reminded me that we are all going to die one day and it is up to us how we’d spend the remaining days on earth.
His death was one of the things that pushed me to follow my dream. I started becoming serious with my blog. I started to look at life differently.
Journey to travel blogging
I remember spending hours looking at old photographs of my Mom traveling around the country before she met my Dad in Cebu. I have always been fascinated by traveling in general because of how my parents met and because of my love for books at a young age. I was a sickly child so books were my escape. Nancy Drew, National Geographic and Reader’s Digest Magazines, and encyclopedias’ defined my childhood.
But I never really took traveling seriously until I went to Baguio in the summer of 2013. Right after that, my trips were becoming more frequent so I decided to write about travel instead. That was when I realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
It took a while until I discovered my writing style. And when I finally did, man, it just came naturally.
Blogging has evolved and social media definitely changed the world of blogging. There was a time when Blogspot’s dashboard was enough for me. And then suddenly more and more microblogging platforms such as Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram has become a necessary thing for me in order to promote my blog. What can I say? Everyone tweets now.
These platforms all function differently and can really help creators put themselves ‘out there’. I’ve seen how people have shifted from writing to creating videos and curating feeds instead. It’s definitely not a bad thing, but this shift has discouraged a lot of bloggers to stop doing their craft.
Continue writing. Whether you believe me or not, the world needs you. The world needs writers and storytellers. Every great movie starts with a simple idea of a writer.
There were a lot of times when I wanted to stop blogging because I compared myself to the success of others. But then I remembered why I started doing this in the first place. So I moved forward. I blog because this is what I love doing. Forget the pressures of SEO – I am here to share my experience. In my own words. In my own style.
Happy ten years to me.
I have been through a lot of things for the past ten years and this blog has witnessed my transformation. This blog has helped me get through difficult times when I struggled with depression a few years ago. This blog has also been my safe haven when I didn’t have any direction in life. This blog has comforted me too when my 6-year relationship ended almost two years ago.
So you, reading this today, means a lot. Thank you.